Tuesday October 30, 2012
‘Ancient Chinese scholars’ come alive at gallery
By YUEN MEIKENG
SEMENYIH: Drinking “wine” and reciting poetry by a stream, four men dressed as ancient Chinese scholars drew the attention of onlookers as they re-enacted a slice of life from the centuries-old Dong Jin dynasty.
Their little sketch put a smile on the face of visitors at the newly launched Chinese Calligraphy Stone Gallery while others took the opportunity to snap pictures with them.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who launched the gallery on Sunday, seemed amused as well as he paused to watch them.
The actors were portraying four of the 42 scholars from the Chinese dynasty, dating as early as 317 A.D. in the gallery at the Nirvana Memorial Garden here.
“History has it that these scholars liked to gather at the Zhe Jiang stream during festivals. They would play this game whereby a cup filled with wine is placed on the stream. A scholar has to recite a poem if the cup floats towards him,” said NV Multi Asia Group public affairs and special project chief operating officer Datuk Freddy Chan.
He said if the scholar failed to recite a poem, he would have to drink the wine in the cup as a form of penalty.
Chan said the actors put up the play in order to educate visitors who thronged the gallery.
One of the actors, Derrick Teh, 38, said he was proud to be presenting a part of Chinese history and culture to the public.
“I hope people will learn from our portrayal that the Chinese scholars were not just drinking for fun. They used it as an exercise to improve their skills in poetry and literature,” he said, adding that the actors drank mineral water instead of wine to re-enact the scene.
The gallery is open to public every day from 8am to 5pm. Admission is free.